October’s Finest: One Bottle of Boozy Kombucha and Hotline Bling

As a person who claims to ‘love’ and ‘like’ everything under the sun, I may not be the prime choice for product reviews.  However, as the topic digresses to food – it always does when I am present – I am by no means shy about voicing my opinion on “what’s hot and what’s not.”

I decided to do monthly mini reviews of food products I have tried and bought.  Everything will most likely be vegan-friendly, unless otherwise stated.  I am here to bust myths and shed light on the wonder products everybody on Instagram seem to be raving about.   It’ll be totally pure, honest and raw – like the chocolate bar on everyone’s lips these days.

My purchase of two PANA raw chocolate bars could not have come at a better time.  As the clocks deviate from BST, and the days become shorter, autumn evenings will soon be filled with hot alcoholic beverages and plentiful of chocolate.  Their Orange bar welcomed the dark evenings in style, with the orange flavour cutting through the bitter dark cacao nicely.

Though I am no means a purist by nature, my favourite still remains to be their original Raw Cacao bar.  It is bitter, sweet and creamy all simultaneously.  How is that even possible?  If you’ve had a PANA bar, then you know what’s up.

After VegFest London ended, a trip to TKMaxx Kensington was compulsory.  By the cashier, I found a reduced bag of Beanfields’ Salt and Pepper Black Bean And Rice Tortilla Chips (!!!) from £3.50 to £2.99. Now, the 50p discount was a bit steep, but it was the only signal I needed to take the bag home.

A positive verdict all round.  The salt and pepper flavour may scream vanilla, but the chips were surprisingly flavourful and addictive.  The bean and rice component added to the texture, making the tortilla chips so moreish.  A couple of handfuls were also rather filling – compared to the likes of Walker’s paper thin potato crisps.

I have never tried kombucha before.  I saw a sparkling number from WholeFoods made from yerba mate, so I thought I’d grab a bottle for some pick-me-up after an exhausting day of card swiping and spoon lifting.

Due to the fermented nature of the sparkling tea drink, it smelled like a combination of beer and apple cider vinegar and tasted like the latter, too.  The fizzy nature took me by surprise; I am still yet to decide whether this was a redeeming quality or not.  I left the glass bottle to sit in the fridge overnight, and because it was flat, it was easier for me to appreciate the full flavour of the kombucha.  Lesson #1: sparkling drinks, especially ones that smell of beer, are not the way to welcome the morning.

After seeing people rave about the benefits of white tea, I could not help but snap up some samples from a friendly trader at VegFest.  Tea People was featured on my VegFest post a couple of weeks ago.  As well as their socially-responsible business outlook, their products were hard to fault.

The Divine Elixir white tea contains a mixture of green and white tea. It’s a fruity, light tisane (an infusion of herbs/spices/etc.) perfect as a refreshing hot drink midday or as a pre-bedtime cuppa.  The taste is also reminiscent of many iced teas I have had previously, and once I have stocked up on a bigger packet, I will be throwing some ice cubes in when summer rolls around next year.

To cap things off for October 2015, here is my Hotline Bling jam:

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